13th January 2020 – Great North Museum, Hancock, Newcastle University
A one-day symposium to pool knowledge and gather current information on the species.
Supported by The Woodland Trust
Muntjac deer are increasing their range. Following their introduction in the 20th century to the south east they have steadily spread north. The British Deer Society quinquennial survey in 2016 confirmed resident populations as far north as North Yorkshire and Lancashire. There are now occasional reports of sightings in Cumbria, County Durham, and even Northumberland. Scotland’s policy is clear, to be free of muntjac deer.
This symposium is to gather up to date information about this species. The findings will be made available for all and it is expected it will feed to the review of the national strategy for muntjac deer by the Non-Native Species Secretariat (NNSS).
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Last week’s BDS London Dinner was another truly great fundraising event. Again very generously supported by Knight Frank, over 100 people attended a champagne reception at the Caledonian Club before sitting down to a venison dinner.
After a welcome from BDS President Lord Andrew Hay and Chairman Professor Rory Putman, guests focused on the serious business of raising funds! There were some really fantastic auction lots, both online and live on the night, plus terrific prizes in the night’s raffle. All items were donated by our many amazing sponsors and supporters and bidding was fierce.
With current uncertainty over the venison market in some parts of the country, it is more important than ever that Stalkers are supplying a high-quality product that is safely and humanely produced.
It is important that sales, both large and small and whether to Approved Game Handling Establishments (Game Dealers) or elsewhere, are conducted within the lawful framework and that all aspects of traceability, best practice, and Food Business regulations are followed.
Details of the current requirements can be found in the FSA Wild Game Guide here: https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/wild-game-guidance
If you are selling venison it is your responsibility to know and adhere to this legislation.
Young deer straying onto Highland rail tracks are being given an escape route to prevent them from being hit by trains.
Sections of lineside fencing are being lowered to enable the young and their mothers to leap out of danger.
Collisions are most likely to happen on rural routes, including the Highland main line between Perth and Inverness, and those in the West Highlands and north of Inverness.
There are around 100 such incidents a year, which accounts for one in three animals hit on the network. While deer are less likely to derail a train they can cause significant damage. In addition, deer can get onto the track at stations, level crossing and gaps in fencing, but younger animals can find themselves unable to find a way out.
Footage of rare wild Siberian musk deer, a national first-class protected animal, was captured by infrared camera in NE China's Jilin.
Siberian musk deer are found in the mountain forests of Northeast Asia. They are most common in the taiga of southern Siberia, but also found in parts of Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, Manchuria, and the Korean peninsula.
A sad report has reached BDS, posted on Facebook by Wild Side of Jura, where a stag had been discovered tangled up in a mass of plastic banding. It seems likely he came across the banding on the west coast of Jura whilst grazing seaweed on the shore.
The stag managed to make it a mile up from the shore, no mean feat considering it was tangled around his back leg as well as around his antlers.
Plastic waste is a global problem and on Jura more is turning up every year on the west coast. It presents a risk to wildlife including deer both externally when deer become trapped like this stag and internally where consumption of plastics can lead to starvation and death.
Images below are from the Wide Side of Jura Facebook post.
A species of small deer-like animal feared to have gone extinct has been spotted in Vietnam for the first time in almost 30 years.
The rediscovery of the silver-backed chevrotain (Tragulus versicolor) – or Vietnam mouse-deer – near the city of Nha Trang is reassuring, given previous suspicions that it might have died out as a result of poaching and habitat loss.
Mouse-deer aren’t actually deer (or mice, as it happens) but ungulates, a group that includes deer along with other herbivorous, hoofed animals. Out of the 10 types of mouse-deer that exist today, the silver-backed species is by far the most elusive.